Sunday, May 1, 2016

Amazing weekend!

This has been an amazing weekend.  I am absolutely exhausted and have slept weird hours this weekend but it has been all worth it.
Friday night started the weekend out with Hope's spring piano recital.  This little girl rocked it and the whole family came to support her. 
We are so thankful that the amazing Melody Payne is in our daughter's life.  She has instilled a love of piano in her and playing piano has increased her confidence so much!  What a blessing!  After the recital we had a potluck supper and a time of celebration.  It was a wonderful evening.

Saturday morning my alarm went off at 4:15 a.m.  It was super early for a Saturday but for a wonderful cause.  Our county was hosting a Remote Area Medical (RAM) clinic.  I have always wanted to be apart of something like this and this was my chance.  I have no medical skills at all, but I came as a general support volunteer and helped welcome people and helped with the food. 
This is the dental area where many local dentist and hygenists were volunteering their time and skills to serve folks that desperately needed dental care.  RAM offered dental, vision, medical, bone density, mammograms, womens health, all weekend long free of charge.  It was truly life-changing for me and a wonderful experience to be apart of. 
In this trailer folks could get a vision test, and new glasses made on the spot in 8 minutes! 

I felt so honored to be apart of something so amazing as RAM.  Our community raised close to $90,000 for this effort and to see all the professionals and volunteers giving their time made me so Smyth County proud.  As a volunteer I received a text this afternoon that over 773 patients were seen in the three day clinic with over $498,912 in services provided!!!  We are called as the family of God to love others and in the last few days at RAM I witnessed neighbors helping neighbors and it was truly a blessing!  I am exhausted and my legs and back are throbbing from all the standing, but I already cannot wait until next year!

This morning I helped at RAM and I took Hope with me.  She was confused as to why some people had to go to RAM to see Dr.Bill (our dentist) and we went to his office to see him.  I want our kids to understand that we are here to love and serve others.  My heart was so full watching our girl pull a wagon of snack bags around and hand them out to patients waiting in line. 
My pictures are totally out of order, but here is a huge surprise that happened last Thursday.  Several of my preschool parents nominated me for teacher of the month from a local radio station.  Amazingly I won!!  The kids were so excited and I was shocked yet honored. 
After the awesome weekend including piano recital and RAM, tonight we headed to the New River Valley to visit two different Panera bread locations.  They have been doing a change for children campaign where you can round up your order and the change will benefit UVA children's hospital.  the Virginia Panera bread locations have raised over $80,000 and tonight was the meet and greet party!  Tonight we got to visit the Christiansburg location and see David's sign and meet the folks that have been raising money for UVA. They gave David many gifts and were so sweet to him.
After the Christiansburg location we headed to Blackburg where all the associates that work there had formed a line and cheered for David as we walked in. It was precious and so much fun!!!
They presented him with a basketball and a new hat!! It blows my mind that folks that do not know David or even have children of their own yet are passionate about raising money for UVA Children's Hospital?!  It was very awesome!
These two ladies raised the most money at their registers during the campaign! 
Check out this amazing cake!!!  This cake was not only beautiful but it tasted awesome!!! Thank you Panera bread for making us feel so welcome and raising money for a place that saved our son's life! 
After all the partying at Panera we got to catch up with Seth Allen for a few minutes while in Blacksburg.  It was great to see him and it was icing on the cake of a wonderful weekend.  :)

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Full Throttle

April and May are typically very stressful and busy months in our household.  Mike usually has tons of school obligations which keep him out many evenings a week, I am working hard at preschool, and our kids are super busy with their school work and activities.  Anytime my calendar is full and I am tempted to whine, I think of all those days at UVA where I would have loved to have done something besides sit and watch my boys vital signs.  Perspective....
One of the joys of this crazy season for our family is Challenger baseball.  I am in charge, but I rely heavily on my two guys-Mike and Kyle to keep the game running.  I can organize volunteers, set schedules, etc. but I have no skills to teach!  Ha!  Challenger baseball is one of the joys of our lives.  We all love it and love these kids so much. 
With Mike's crazy schedule, Kyle has stepped up big time with Challenger this year.  Middle school years are so challenging, but I see glimmers of the Godly man that Kyle will be and it gives me such hope.  Here he is with his buddy player.  It brings me such joy to see Kyle on the field sharing his love of baseball. 
Each game day all five of us are out on the field and we love it!  Hope helps wherever she is needed and she loves helping the little ones run the bases.  Mike is my umpire and he helps David with all his equipment.  I love watching David play Challenger and give it his all.  God has blessed us with awesome volunteers that show up faithfully to help these kids have a great game day experience. 
This little love is super busy these days prepping for her piano recital and also a dance recital. We did dance pictures this week and what an experience that was! 
Kyle has been working hard on his basketball in the off-season. 
It is also SOL test season for our boys.  Hope is not old enough to take any yet, but the boys are working hard.  Dave has yet to pass one SOL but bless him, he works so hard preparing.  Today our Dave brought home a certificate for the A/B honor roll. To see how excited and proud he was over that certificate made me want to weep.  I know that he has had lots of accommodations to make that happen in his regular education classroom, but kudos to his teacher and special ed teacher for working hard to meet his needs in the classroom and making him feel so smart.  My heart overflows thinking of what our public educators do on a regular basis for kids.  They are superheroes.  Here is Kyle helping David study for an SOL. 
We have also had a little time for some fun hiking with friends.  We have been so thankful for these gorgeous days and time with friends. 

I am so thankful that when life is full throttle and I am tempted to pout I remember that there were many days during treatment that my day was wide open except for watching David and worrying.  I will take a full schedule over lonely hospital days anytime!

Recently I was blessed to be able to speak at a Women of Valor conference.  It continues to blow my mind to see how God has worked in our life and how I am now being given opportunities to tell others how God showed up during the hardest days of our lives.  I never take those opportunities lightly and I am always blessed by these conferences.  I never want to stop bragging on how God has blessed our family.  Some may look at us with a special needs child who also got stage IV cancer and feel pity for us, but I feel so amazed that we got to witness so many amazing acts of God.  When he was all we had, he showed up in ways we could not have imagined. 

Sorry it has been a while since I have posted.  I promise I will do better!  May God bless you! 

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter 2016

Easter 2016 was full of family, church, fun and faith.  This was my first official Holy week on staff at church as the middle school youth director and though I am exhausted this day after Easter, it was wonderful. 

Christmas and Easter are about the only time we are off together as a family.  Our spring break is short this year due to snow, but we are thankful for anytime we have off together.  On Hope's list was to make resurrection rolls and dye Easter eggs.  We checked them both off of our list.
We had planned to take the kids to Dollywood on Saturday, but Friday night we decided that we really would just stay home and catch up around the house and take the kids to see Zootopia. 
We even ran into the Easter bunny at the movies!!
We attended Maundy Thurssday service Thursday night at church.  Mike came straight from work, Hope and Dave had on play clothes and Kyle came straight from basketball.  We made it and that is all what matters. Friday we then had Good Friday service which remembers the death that Jesus died on the cross. The youth had a part in that service. 
Here is Kyle taking a candle out of the church.  To symbolize Jesus' death all elements of Him are taken out of the sanctuary during the service.  I wonder how sad, scared and hopeless Jesus' disciples felt after his crucifixion.  They followed him so loyally for three years and they must have felt so sad after his death.  The service was very powerful. 
Saturday night at midnight the pastor held an Easter vigil fire at the church.  I took Kyle and Tanner and along with 18 other youth, the pastor, and senior high youth director and we sat around the fire.  I am too old to make it all night but  I made it until about 2:45 a.m.  It was a lot of fun and I was so proud of the youth for coming out to wait for Jesus.  About 8 of them made it all night long until the sunrise service at 7 a.m. This princess needed a few hours of sleep so I came home and slept for three hours and made it back to the sunrise service. 
At the sunrise service we started at the fire and took the light of the world back into the dark sanctuary.  I was so impressed with the youth that made it all night long.  Their parents were also expecting them to be bright-eyed and busy tailed and wearing their easter best in just a few hours. 
After the sunrise service there was a wonderful breakfast with homemade sausage and gravy! There were also bunny pancakes!  It was wonderful and my little bunnies met me there. 
We came home and cleaned up for Easter church.  I caught this precious moment of Kyle fixing his brother's hair. 
Robinson girls:)
Our sweet Easter bunnies
After church we headed to Radford for Easter lunch. Here are our kids with their great grandmother.  She is in a wheel chair temporarily due to a sore on her foot. My 96 year old great aunt was also there. 
My Dad got Kyle a new fishing pole for Easter and here he is teaching him all about it.  These two have such a sweet relationship and they are looking forward to fishing together this spring and summer.
Seeing the cross full of flowers that symbolize life and hope blesses me so much each Easter.  Easter is my favorite holiday ever.  We live in a world where not much is sacred anymore, so it touches me when we stop for a few days during a very holy week and take time to remember what Jesus did for us.  I am so thankful for a Risen Savior!!